"Is there no end to this infernal rain!"
The petite woman behind the reception desk jumped. "How was lunch, Dr. Sondgaard?" she asked.
Her employer stepped into the reception area of her office, shaking out her umbrella. "Lunch was wet," she replied. "The streets are wet, the cab was wet, and I'm wet." She folded her umbrella and ran her fingers through short brown hair. "My hair is a mess," she supplied. She started unbuttoning her raincoat. She stopped when she saw her receptionist was about to say something.
"Kerri, please tell me nothing has come up while I was out."
Kerri was a good six inches shorter than the other woman. She was a cute young thing, almost girlish in her powder blue sweater and simple black pants. "I'm sorry, Dr. Sondgaard," she said respectfully. "You have a walk-in. His name is Damien. He seemed very upset, so I let him wait inside."
Dr. Sondgaard looked at her watch. "All right. I have a free hour before Mr. Albright gets here. I can review those files some other day."
For a moment she regarded her receptionist quizzically. Kerri's sweater skimmed well above her navel and snuggled fetchingly around her darling young breasts. Although not unusual by the style of the day, it was positively daring by Kerri's conservative standards. Was that the same sweater she had been wearing earlier?
Dr. Sondgaard frowned, scolding herself for her momentary envy of Kerri's well-shaped breasts. Funny she had never noticed them before though.
She stepped into her private office, raincoat over one arm. She locked the door for privacy "Sorry to keep you waiting," she said to the man who looked up from the couch. "I almost drowned waiting for a cab." She hung up the raincoat and umbrella, then smoothed out her modest brown suit. She kicked off her wet shoes and stepped into a different pair, black flats like she always wore.
"Well now," she said, settling into her professional demeanor, "Damien, is it? I'm Dr. Monica Sondgaard." She extended a hand. The other man shook it but said nothing.
Monica sat down in the big chair beside her desk. She pulled out her notebook. She studied the distraught young man sitting in front of her. He was under thirty, of no unusual size or character, with a bland, forgettable face. A rather plain woman herself, Monica had a lot of sympathy for the ordinary.
The man hadn't shaved for a couple of days. His clothing was clean but rumpled. His eyes were haunted, shifting nervously this way and that. He avoided looking at her.
Anyone could see that the man was in distress; it didn't take a psychologist to figure that out. The first thing was to get him calmed down a little, Monica decided, work through the crisis, then look at the long-term situation. It didn't help that he had hardly said a word since he came in.
"OK, Damien," Dr. Sondgaard began, deliberately using his first name to establish rapport, "calm yourself down if you can. I'm here to help you. Nothing is going to hurt you in this office. Try taking three deep breaths."
The man did as she instructed, breathing in deeply three times, then letting it out slowly. He seemed a little calmer when he was done.
Monica encouraged him gently. "Good. Now just lean back and relax. Tell me what is troubling you. Begin anywhere. We'll straighten out the details as we go."
"Doctor," the man said, "You have got to help me. I can't handle this any more. I read in the paper that you know something about the paranormal. Maybe you can understand. I have this -- this thing inside me, this power or ability or something -- and it's driving me crazy."
Monica groaned inwardly. Not another one. Eight months earlier she had written a paper for a psychological journal about paranormal experiences such as hauntings and alien abductions. Even though her paper showed how all these traumas could be explained and treated by conventional therapy, it had led to a parade of oddballs through her office.
She kept her continence even. "What kind of power, Damien?" she asked gently.
"I have no idea," he replied. "I don't understand it. It's just that I think -- no, I know that somehow I can change things. With my mind, I mean. I can manipulate things and events around me. It's frightening."
The slender brunette flicked a speck of dust off her designer suit. She wrote "delusional?" in her notebook. "I see," she said, although she didn't. "You have some special mental ability.
Where did this, uhm, "power" come from?"
He waved a hand. "I performed a ritual. It's a very old, pre- Druidic rite. It was part of my research for my degree in anthropology. I did it during the planetary alignment a few weeks ago, when the ancients believed cosmic forces were strongest. Did you know an alignment like that only happens every thousand years? I won't tell you the details of the ritual, but it involves sacrificing small animals and dancing naked around a stone circle under a full moon."
Actually, that was quite enough detail, Monica thought, wincing. "I see, " she said again, trying to keep the revulsion out of her voice. "This ritual conferred some sort of magical ability on you, is that right? How do you know you have it?" She crossed her knees sedately. For a moment her patient's glance fell to her legs, below the hem of her tasteful, knee-length skirt.
Damien ran a hand through his uncombed hair. "I knew it the instant it happened. I don't know how to explain it. Lying there on that moonlit rock, covered with mud and blood, I felt, sensed, a change in the natural order of things, a shift in the force or cosmic energy, call it what you will. Something flowed into me, into my mind, into my soul. Something ancient, timeless, and very powerful."
Monica could already see the outline of the man's problem. Some sort of quasi-religious experience had caused a delusional break, clouding the lines between fantasy and reality. Could be evidence of a serious psychosis. Could be just working too hard. She decided to probe a little deeper.
"So you believe you now have an exceptional mental ability. You can change things around you, I think you said? So what exactly is the problem?"
He drew a breath. "Doctor, are you familiar with the folk wisdom that a man has a sexual thought about every fifteen minutes?"
"Yes, of course."
"Those thoughts are mostly pretty harmless, right? They're momentary fantasies. A man sees a pretty girl on the street and he thinks, 'wow, nice ass. I wonder what she would look like bending over on a diving board.' A moment later he has forgotten all about it."
"But what if he could fulfil these fantasies, however fleeting? What if he could make the girl stop and strip and bend over so he could admire her behind? What if he could make a sexy schoolgirl jump into his lap on the bus and make out with him until her stop? Better yet, what if he could transform any ordinary schoolgirl into a teenage sex-pot and have her fuck him on the bus in front of everybody. What if he could instantly fulfil all the selfish, base, lustful desires that float around in the bilge-water of everybody's unconscious mind? What would become of him then?"
Monica was struck by the intensity of his speech. Whatever was at the root of Damien's problem, it was torturing him. She wrote "sex obsessed?" in her notebook. She brushed back her long hair, noting with approval that it had already dried. "But in reality such things don't happen," she said reasonably. "So any question of wish fulfillment is entirely hypothetical.
Damien, why are you bringing this up?"
"Because that is my whole problem! This power of mine, it doesn't just reside in my conscious mind, it's in my unconscious mind too. It's become an integral part of my being. Look, how do you raise your arm? You don't think about it, you just do it. You want your arm to be raised, and your unconscious mind takes care of the details."
He was becoming increasingly agitated. He got up from the couch and began to pace back and forth, gesticulating as he spoke. "This power of mine, this thing in my head, it works just like that. I don't have to do anything. I just have to want something to change, and it changes."
"Do you have any idea what a burden that is? The world as we know it would collapse if we could all indulge our selfish whims. I have to guard my thoughts every minute, lest one of my subconscious desires suddenly come true. Every time I see a pretty girl I have to concentrate on not thinking about her. I can't go into a bank because I'm afraid I'll have a stray thought and someone will start giving me money. It's the curse of the Midas touch, to the second power."
"I must not give in to the temptation. Because once I start using it, I know I won't be able to stop. The steps are so obvious. First, I'll start indulging my idle whims, then satisfying my baser appetites, and finally, acting out my most perverse fantasies."
"I know this is all true. Yet the effort of not using the power is getting to be more than I can bear. I can feel the power inside me: tempting me, eroding my willpower, wearing away at my moral convictions."
He sat down heavily. "It's like acid," he said softly. "An acid of the mind. It eats away at my humanity, bit by bit. Corroding. Corrupting. Eventually it will leak out, and my soul will be indelibly stained."
He wound down, looking at Monica expectantly, hoping for understanding. She arched a delicate eyebrow. Most of her patients didn't present such unusual symptoms. She shook off the clinging image of a schoolgirl having public sex on a bus long enough to realize that he had concocted an elaborate delusion.
She said: "If your new power is too corruptive to use, then how do you know it really exists?" It was time to challenge his contorted perception.
"Because I already have," he said quietly.
"Oh? How did you use it?"
"I'd rather not say," he countered, looking at the floor again. "It was -- with my graduate supervisor. She was the one who suggested I perform the ritual, for the experience. We, uh, did a few experiments. She didn't believe me either."
Something about the way he said that troubled Monica. She decided to press on.
"I can't say that I would have blamed her," she said, trying not to sound accusatory. "Why should she, or I?" You insist you have this supernatural ability, but you refuse to demonstrate it. Surely you can do something, some small thing to prove you're not fabricating all this." It was necessary to force him to confront his delusion.
The man thought about it for a moment. "Do you have a coin?" he asked.
Monica opened her desk drawer and pulled out a 500 lira coin, a memento from a trip to Italy. "Flip it," Damien said, "it will come down heads."
She flipped the coin, let it land on her desk. It did come down heads. "That's not very impressive," she said. "Fifty-fifty chance."
"Do it again."
Monica shrugged and flipped again. It came up heads.
"Again." Heads once more.
She flipped it five more times. It landed heads every time. She tried catching the coin in the air. Still heads. She caught it and slapped it on her wrist, reversing the orientation in which she caught it.
Monica sat down again. She noticed his eyes on her nylons but decided not to pull down her mini-skirt. Let him look. Better men should admire her shapely legs than ignore her small chest.
The trick with the coin was impressive. Did he know in advance the coin was not fair? Had he switched coins somehow? There were any number of ways he could be fooling her. The question was, why? Some people liked to visit therapists for the attention, toying with them without any interest in treatment, but this man did not seem like that type.
She tossed the coin on the desk. It landed heads up. For a moment it looked like the figure embossed on the coin was laughing.
Dr. Sondgaard smiled indulgently. "OK, Damien. Let's allow that you can influence how this coin comes down. That's hardly a demonstration of supernatural power. Can't you do a little better?"
"Yes," he replied. "I don't want to. That's my whole point. It's too easy to use the power. It's seductive. Sure, just try one little thing. One small change. Make your life a little easier. Let a bit of the acid out." He shook his head.
Oh boy, Monica thought privately. This was getting weird. "OK, Damien. We'll work this out together. So far though, your conviction has not matched the evidence. All I've seen you do is a coin trick. You will have to do better than that to convince me."
Damien seemed to shrink, to draw into himself. "Please, don't force me," he said.
"I must, Damien," Monica insisted. "You have to show me the power, or face up to the fact that it may not exist." This was harsh, but a breakthrough in the first session was a real possibility. She prepared herself for his collapse when the "power" did not work. Then they could get at his real problem.
"Please," he said again. "I don't want to do this!"
"Show me, Damien." She spoke commandingly.
Something in her tone roused him. He looked at her, considering. "The, the weather, what's it like?"
"Damien you're trying to avoid the issue. I don't want to talk about --"
"Tell me about the weather!" he shouted with sudden fury.
Monica watched him, taken aback. She thought about the button on her desk, the one that summoned security. You never knew.
"It's been raining all day."
"Go to the window. Look outside." He was calm again.
Monica got to her feet. She felt the pleasant swish of her little mini sliding over her panties, silk against silk, as she made her way over to the windows along one side of the office. She could hear the beat of the rain pelting against the glass.
She pulled back the curtains. The day was sunny, bright with sunshine. A few high clouds drifted along on a summer breeze. Astonished, she looked down at the city street. The pavement was dry. There were no puddles. A man was idly watering a potted tree on the sidewalk.
Monica dropped the curtain. She stepped back so fast she almost fell off her high heels. She turned toward the door, where she had hung up her raincoat and umbrella when she came in. There was no umbrella. In fact, there was no umbrella stand. On the coat rack was a little red hat. It exactly matched the daring red ensemble she was wearing.
What was going on? For a brief moment, Monica just stood there, dumbfounded. It had been pouring rain. She remembered distinctly. There was no umbrella stand. "What... how...?" she stammered.
Damien was leaning over, his hands clasped in his lap. "I asked you not to make me do that. Oh god, it's so damned easy!"
Monica pulled herself together. Whatever was going on here, she still had a patient that needed help. She knelt down in front of him. "Damien, listen to me," she said gently, lifting his head in one hand.
Damien looked at her, his expression blank. It occurred to Monica that in this position he could effortlessly look up her skirt to the tops of her stockings and even her high-cut lace panties, but she decided not to do anything about it. Maybe a little tease would help bring him out of his withdrawal. She took a deep breath, feeling her round breasts pressing against her sheer silk blouse.
"I'm as confused about this as you are. Nevertheless we are going to work this out together. Understand? Whether your power is real is hardly the point. It's real to you and that's what matters."
When he lifted his eyes Monica realized he had indeed been looking up her brief skirt. Now his attention shifted to her cleavage. She felt a familiar thrill run through her. "Oh my word, you're an attractive woman," he said irrelevantly, "I should never have come here."
She smiled. "Well, you're here now, so let's see if I can help you." She stayed on her knees a tad longer than she needed to. It was fun to have a man looking at her tits.
After a moment she got to her feet and sat down in her big chair beside the desk. She crossed her legs automatically, letting her foxy skirt slide high on her thighs. One dainty red sandal dangled off her toes. She knew she looked good.
"Let's consider, for the sake of argument, that you really have some sort of extraordinary power. What makes you so certain that it will harm you? Can't you learn to use it, test it out a little at a time, tame the beast before it devours you?"
"What do you mean?" He sounded interested.
"Suppose you set rules for yourself. Decide beforehand that you will never use the power unless it does demonstrable good. Lay out a few ground rules. Then try some test runs. Something really small. Go to a hospital and improve somebody's diagnosis. Help a little old lady across the street."
"Yes, but the temptation, the temptation will always be there."
"As it is for all of us. Remember Damien, you had your moral values established before you received this gift, or whatever it is. You still have that beacon to guide you. The very fact that you are so distraught about what you have not even done yet proves that you are a man of strong moral character. Use that strength to steer your use of the power."
For the first time his face looked hopeful. "You -- you think that could work?"
"Frankly, I have no idea. I don't really know what I'm dealing with here. But I am certain that nothing is to be gained, in your life in general or your therapy with me, from you blaming yourself for all humanity's frailties."
He sat up a little straighter. "Say, you know what, Doctor, I never thought of it that way. I mean, we're all just ordinary people doing the best that we can, right?
"So, as long as I'm trying to make the correct decisions, as long as I'm doing my best, I shouldn't feel bad if temptation gets to me or I make a mistake now and again."
"That's the spirit," Monica encouraged him. "You see, you don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, regardless of how strange your situation may be."
She worked her puffy red lips into a smile to match his, grateful that she had at last been able to do something for him. There was still a great mystery here, this so-called power, and what it was really doing (hypnotism? complex self-deception?) but that could wait until another session. Damien had made great progress.
Monica felt one of those rare moments of satisfaction that came from knowing she had used her skills to genuinely help somebody. It was a good feeling, like the contented buzz she got from sucking cock.
She noticed his gaze lingering on her titanic titties again. She loved the way men were always staring at her chest. That was why she wore --
Wait a minute. Something was wrong. Damien was still smiling at her, but there was something different in his gaze. Something she didn't like. Wordlessly she got to her feet and went to stand before the full-length mirror along one wall. She used it sometimes, to get patients to "look at themselves." Monica was looking at herself now. What she saw amazed her.
The woman in the mirror was her, but it was not her. It was like an erotic caricature of herself, a cartoon drawn by a horny teenager with a vivid imagination. Her hair was long, thick and wavy, her lips pouty and red. Big hazel eyes smoldered back at her from underneath long lashes.
What had been a drab brown suit was now a shamelessly brief, tight micro-skirt, a see-through white body shirt and an unbuttoned bolero jacket, all in the finest silk. The scarlet jacket had gold buttons and gold trim. The outfit clung deliciously to a figure that clearly wasn't hers; not with those spectacular legs, that narrow waist and dandy bottom, or those frankly enormous breasts that would have looked ridiculous had they not been so high and jutting.
Monica whirled to face Damien. Her breasts and heels almost made her lose her balance. "What -- what have you done!" she almost shouted.
"I wanted to thank you, Doctor," her patient replied. "You have done so much for me, in just one visit! You are one hell of a good shrink. I feel completely liberated from all that guilt I was feeling!"
Monica fought down a wave of hysteria. "Stop this! Stop -- Change me back!" she demanded. Her voice was deep and soft as velvet.
He looked offended. "But Doc, come on, you were so bland. Now you're a total dish. I'm getting a woody just looking at you."
Unexpectedly, the image of Damien's hard-on sent a thrill of excitement through her. She set her jaw. She marched over to the desk, four-inch heels sinking into the plush carpet, and jabbed the emergency button on the intercom. Her fingernail was flawlessly polished.
After a long moment a breathless voice responded: "S-Security."
"This is Dr. Sucksgood, I mean Sondgaard, in 319. I need a security detail, on the double!"
Damn, her voice sounded so sexy.
Another long pause. "Uh, (huff), yeah, right, umh, oh god baby, just like that, yeah, sure uh, doc, but uh, me and Aprile and umh, what's your name sweetie? uh, Margaret, we're kinda busy right now, oh shit that's so good. Can we (huff, huff), make it in, about (gasp), twenty minutes. No, don't stop, please, keep it up, make that uh, half an hour, watch it girls I'm gonna blow again!"
The line went dead.
Monica straightened slowly. Diamond bracelets sparkled on her wrists. She turned to face Damien. He was still smiling. It had an edge of pure evil now. "What have you done to them?" she whispered.
"Nothing harmful," he said easily. "The security staff are just getting to know one another. I think they'll be busy for quite a while."
Monica felt her stability slipping. The whole situation was too unreal, too impossible to grasp. She couldn't stop thinking about sex.
"Look, Damien," she said urgently, "You can fight this. You don't have to give in to the temptation. These -- what you've done to me is just childishness. It's a selfish indulgence, like masturbation. It's like when I slip two fingers into my cunny on the train and try to get myself off without anybody noticing." Dammit!
She tried again. "The point is, just because you have slipped once, given into temptation, doesn't mean your cause is lost. You can admit a mistake, fix it and carry on. That's what we all do. Remember a few minutes ago we talked about ordinary people doing the best that we can? That's what you need to remember."
He was still grinning. "Ah, but Doc, I'm not ordinary people any more, am I? I'm something more. Besides, it's too late for me.
"You see, I told you the temptation would be too much. My graduate supervisor was curious. She wanted to see how the power worked. She let the acid out. Once I started using the power, once I realized just how much fucking fun it is, I simply couldn't stop."
A new chill went down Monica's spine. "What -- what did you do to your supervisor?" she asked, her voice trembling.
"Ah, don't worry Doc, she's right here. I brought her with me. He flipped a hand lazily and the locked door to Monica's office swung open. "Hey, sweetmeat, wiggle your tail in here," he said offhandedly.
Monica looked out to her outer office. Kerri, would be at her desk. She could get help! "Kerri!" she shouted, as loud as she could.
"She's busy at the moment, Doc," Damien said.
There was a large, plush sofa on the far side of the outer office that Monica had never seen before. Yet she knew it had always been there. Kerri had arranged the low couch to be right in front of the glass-topped table that served as her desk, so that male patients could see up her dress while they waited. That explained why so many patients walked in with a hard-on. Monica shook her head. How did she know this?
At the moment, the sofa was occupied. Kerri was on the bottom, or at least a busty centerfold model that looked like Kerri, wearing nothing but fishnet stockings and her trademark black patent sandals with six-inch platform heels. She had her legs in the air. She was panting loudly as she was vigorously fucked by a muscle-bound man that Monica vaguely recognized.
"That's Mr. Albright, your two-o'clock," Damien supplied. "I helped him a little with his shyness and agoraphobia. Of course, a nine-inch cock and sheer animal magnetism that few women can resist will help a lot too."
Monica felt her panties moisten. The sight of the two lovers bucking and pumping in her office instantly turned on her juices, as virtually anything sexual always did. No, wait, he had changed that too. She grimaced, struggling to remember what was real and what was Damien's artifice.
"I'm sorry, Dr. Sondgaard," said a soft voice. Monica looked up to see another fantasy standing in the doorway. Her blonde hair tumbled to her waist. Her figure was stunning. She was dressed in a semi-transparent body stocking of purple lace that stretched faithfully over every mouth-watering curve. The material grew marginally thicker around the crotch, providing more the allure of the unseen than true privacy.
"I'm Professor Alicia Cummins. Damien's graduate supervisor." Monica stared at her in shock. Yummy tits, but not as big as mine, she thought smugly.
"I didn't mean for this to happen," the professor said. "I thought you might be able to help him, I really did. He was struggling so with his conscience, I thought there might be some hope of redemption. But it was already too late. I'm so sorry Doctor. There was nothing you could do."
"Au contraire, my little sex-toy," said Damien casually. "The good doctor has done so much for me. She found the key to free me from my guilt. It's like being let out of prison. For the first time in my life I'm truly free."
Holding on to her sanity with a slender thread, Monica considered her options. Damien was clearly insane. The conflict between his conscience and his ability had driven him mad. The acid had indeed stained his soul.
She considered jumping him, maybe catching him by surprise, but she was certain she could not do that. She didn't know why. All she knew for certain was that Damien's power, whatever it was, was immense and real, and that she dearly loved to fuck.
"Dr. Cummins, please," Monica said, a catch in her velvety voice, "You've got to help me. Maybe together we can do something. Run, get help!" She stamped one spike-heeled foot in feminine frustration.
The blonde was shaking her head sadly. "I'm sorry Dr. Sondgaard, I can't do that," she explained. She was wearing black, thigh-high boots, the tightest Monica had ever seen. The sleek leather glistened as she sidled up to where Damien was sitting, managing her high-high heels with an ease that could only come from long practice. Just watching her made Monica tingle.
"You see, he can change anything he wants. This power of his -- it's irresistible! Eventually he even changed me. I adore him, Dr. Sondgaard. I'm utterly devoted now." The lace-and-leather- clad professor looked down on her student with a worshipful gaze, tussling his hair absently. Damien made a little clucking sound and patted his knee. Monica expected Alicia to sit in his lap, but instead she sank to her booted knees beside him and laid her head in his lap like a dog.
Out in the outer office, Kerri began to scream in ecstasy as Mr. Albright brought her to yet another orgasm. The man caught Monica's eye and winked at her. The door began to swing closed slowly.
"You should not feel like you have failed, Doctor," Damien said consolingly. He stroked Alicia's long hair affectionately. The look on her face was pure bliss. "You have shown me the way to free myself from my conscience, even if I have rather succumbed to temptation. I'm trying to do good things. Alicia has never been so happy. Neither has your secretary."
Even in her nearly hysterical state, Monica recognized rationalization. "No, Damien, no," she pleaded. "That's the oldest trick in the book. To convince yourself that whatever you want to do just happens to be the best choice. You're only deceiving yourself." She spoke in a lilting sing-song she couldn't seem to do anything about. She brushed long hair back from one perfect ear.
For a moment he seemed to consider it. "Well, perhaps so," he said thoughtfully, "but if I bring a little more beauty and happiness into the world that can't be all bad. Besides, you are hardly one to complain about bending the rules, the way you have been manipulating men all your life."